The Euro 2024 qualification match between Belgium and Sweden was interrupted during halftime and subsequently called off due to a tragic incident that occurred in Brussels earlier that same Monday. In response to the heightened terrorism alert in Belgium, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) released an official statement.
The decision to suspend the game came as a response to the circulation of a disturbing video on social media. In this video, an individual claimed responsibility for a shooting and declared allegiance to the Islamic State. Citing “security concerns,” UEFA opted to halt the match at halftime. Further details are expected to be made available in the coming days.
Swedish players conveyed their concerns to UEFA, expressing their reluctance to proceed with the second half of the match. In a remarkable display of sportsmanship and unity, the Belgian team acknowledged the seriousness of the situation and agreed with the Swedish players’ decision, as reported by the Swedish broadcaster TV6.
At the time of the suspension, the match was level with both teams having scored one goal each, resulting in a tie. Swedish fans, who had traveled to support their national team, were instructed to remain inside the stadium.
It is worth noting that Belgium had already secured their place in the Euro 2024 finals, which are set to be held in Germany the following year. In contrast, Sweden faced an insurmountable challenge for qualification, rendering the outcome of the halted match inconsequential.